Oscar-nominated writer, actor and director John Singleton has died at the age of 51, Fox News reported on Monday (April 29).

Singleton’s family released a statement saying that he had “passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.”

“We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time,” the statement continued.

Earlier Monday, Singleton’s family announced that it had made the “agonizing decision” to remove Singleton from life support. The family said the decision had been made “over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.”

“John Singleton is a prolific, ground-breaking director who changed the game and opened doors in Hollywood, a world that was just a few miles away, yet worlds away, from the neighborhood in which he grew up,” the earlier statement said.

Ice Cube, who was discovered by Singleton, paid homage to the late actor on his Twitter account saying, “I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker.”

The rapper, actor and film-producer added, “There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved — bring the black experience to the world.” Which was followed up with a photo of Singleton and Ice at the Cannes in the early ‘90s”.

Samuel L. Jackson was also among the many stars to speak out about his close relationship with the late legend.

Mourning the loss of a collaborator & True Friend John Singleton,”  Jackson wrote on Twitter. “He blazed the trail for many young film makers, always remaining true to who he was & where he came from!!! RIP Brother. Gone Way Too Soon!,” he added.

In an earlier statement, Singleton’s family told the Associated Press:

“John loved nothing more than giving opportunities to new talent and his films came to be known for career-making roles with actors who the industry would come to embrace; talents such as Tupac Shakur, Regina King, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Ice Cube, Tyrese and Taraji P. Henson.

“We are grateful to his fans, friends and colleagues for the outpour of love and prayers during this incredibly difficult time.  We want to thank all the doctors at Cedars Sinai for the impeccable care he received.”

According to his family, Singleton “quietly struggled with hypertension” and asked that fans learn about the condition by going to Heart.org.

Singleton received Oscar nominations in 1992 for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for “Boyz N the Hood,” which he wrote, directed and produced in his early 20s, just out of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. (“The Silence of the Lambs” won in both categories). Singleton would say the honor was compensation for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences snubbing Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” two years earlier.

At 24 years old, Singleton became both the first black director to receive an Oscar nomination and the youngest Best Director nominee in Oscar History.

RIP John Singleton… you will be missed!

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